Last month we looked at some tips on integrating new planner hires with clients http://bit.ly/Successpart1of2. This month, we will look at ways to ensure a successful integration of your new hire with your existing staff. The quicker your new hire can become acquainted with your current clients and acclimated with your current staff, the faster they will add value to your organization.
However, changing the internal dynamics of your human capital talent portfolio can be challenging and needs to be handled with care in order to minimize potential disruptions. Here are three ways to help ensure a smooth integration of your new team member and keep disruptions to a minimum.
- Synergy Assessments - You should be utilizing some sort of personality assessment http://bit.ly/PersonalityAssessments during the screening process to gain valuable insight into a possible new hire's personality, work style, motivating factors, etc. Many of these tools also show you where the new hire is most likely to fit into the existing team and/or if there could be significant conflict.
- Staff Buy In - If your current staff is involved in selecting the new hire candidate, they are much more likely to have a vested interest in seeing that person succeed because they own part of it. It is a good practice to involve your staff during the interview process for screening purposes.
- Team Training - One of the common frustrations I hear from employees when I am interviewing staff as part of our recruiting process is something to the effect of 'management makes a hire without informing any of us and now we have to take extra time above and beyond our current workload to train them.' Training a new employee can be time intensive, so establishing clear expectations up front with the current staff can help in staving off some of this frustration. Additionally, just like any other large project, the work should be divided as equitably as possible to keep from overloading one particular team member. Consider positioning as something like, "We know you are overworked currently and that is not our intention as this firm is committed to a work life blend. We have made a key hire who can alleviate some of the bottlenecks we are encountering, thus reducing your workload and stress. We will need your assistance, which may mean additional short term sacrifices, to get Amanda New Planner up to speed, but the sooner we get her to where she needs and wants to be, the sooner your work levels return to normal." Ideally, organizations would hire prior to getting to this point. Mark Tibergien CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions often says in his presentations to firm owners that growing firms should hire when they reach 70-80% capacity and firms that aren't growing should hire when they reach 100% capacity.
Here is a chart to assist you in gauging how well your existing team has accepted the new team member.
|• Team members remain friendly with new employee after “Honeymoon Period” is over.||• Team members avoid new employee whenever possible.|
|• New employee’s “good” ideas are accepted with enthusiasm.||• All ideas are accepted or rejected without evaluation.|
|• New employee’s “poor” ideas are (respectfully) rejected with feedback as to why they won’t work.||• Team members support “poor” ideas to “set-up” new employee for failure.|
|• Other employees/team members seek information and/or ideas from the new employee.||• No one seeks input from new employee. His/her ideas and opinions are not valued.|
|• New employee is included in organizational functions as appropriate.||• New employee is left out of organizational functions.|
|• Input is appropriate, relevant and timely.||• Input is inappropriate, not relevant, premature or too late.|
|• Employee is seen as “one of us.”||• Employee is still seen as an outsider.|
*Sources: Oregon State University: Integrating new Employees Into the Workplace 2012 Office of Human Resources, Hadden and Catlett, Contented Cows Give Better Milk, 1998.
- Caleb will be in Phoenix October 10-11 attending the Conation Nation Kolbe Certified Consultants Conference
- Caleb will be speaking to the FPA of NE Ohio on Monday October 14th http://bit.ly/FPANEOhio
- Michael will be speaking at the NAPFA National Conference in Philadelphia on October 11th www.kitces.com
- Caleb and Michael will be speaking at the Large Firm Symposium at FPA Experience in Orlando on Saturday October 19th http://bit.ly/FPAExperience
- Make sure to check out our new candidate screening service for assistance vetting candidates you may have sourced prior to making a hiring decision http://bit.ly/NewPlnrRecScreening